Two time champion of CAF’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) Morocco, has reportedly pulled out of competing in the 2022 edition of the competition eligible to only players competing in national leagues on the African continent.
The news comes a day before the commencement of the tournament to be played out in Algeria from January 13 to February 4 with 18 nations set to participate.
Per reports gathered, the Moroccan authorities were denied access to direct flights from Morocco to Algeria forcing the withdrawal.
Morocco’s withdrawal from the tournament stems from a long-standing row between Morocco and Algeria over the status of the Western Sahara.
The territory is claimed by Morocco but the North African nation’s claims over the former Spanish territory are heavily disputed by separatists The Polisario Group.
The Polisario Group calls the territory the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and is strongly against the claim the Sahrawi Republic is part of Morocco’s territory.
Morocco has won the past two editions of the CHAN and is in Group C with Ghana, Sudan, and Madagascar.